Brief History of Photography: Photo I

But first, this. A different way of thinking about why we take photographs

Abelardo Morrell: The Making of a Camera Obscura

Abelardo Morell’s website.

David Hockney’s, A Secret Knowledge, (part 1), (part 2), (part 3).

The book. The DVD. An article about the book.

Not everyone agrees with Hockney’s thesis. Some counter arguments, here and here. The later one is perhaps the most valid because its author is a scholar. Hockney’s project has inspired further exploration and scholarship.

Jerry Spagnoli: contemporary daguerreotypist. A video presentation. His website.

BBC program: The Genius of Photography

George Eastman House on Flickr

Tim’s Vermeer“a documentary by Penn and Teller (yes, THAT Penn and Teller) about one man’s obsession with discovering Vermeer’s secrets. Hint: camera obscura! Trailer | NY Times article | TIFF summary


Where Can I Buy Film?

I buy all my film-related things at B+H Photo. It’s in NYC so shipping can be an issue, but it’s free over $99 USD.  They have a huge selection new and used equipment.

B+H Photo Video

This is a link to other online resources.

Downtown Camera

Toronto Image Works


2710: The Book

Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum, collection of artist books

Ann Hamilton | Tropos


The Library of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges

Artist project as an infinite website:

Library of Babel as seen from within (Article in The Paris Review)

The Artful Accidents of Google Books [The New Yorker]

The Art of Google Books

Ed Ruscha: Various Small Fires and Milk

Ulises Carrion | exhibit | Video

Artist Books and Multiples

Multiples (in Amsterdam)

International Art Book Fair in Toronto


Artist book collection at The Smithsonian

Artist book Collection At The Victorian and Albert Museum

Reed College | Artist Book digital collection

A Brief History of Artists’ Books (Yale)—use the tabs at the top of the article to explore institutions and collections of artists’ books–great reference.

Collections of Artists’ Books

The Center for Book Arts [New York City]

Minnesota Center for Book Arts

San Francisco Center for the Book

Artists’ Book Online | An online repository of facsimiles, metadata, and criticism


Artist Book 3.0 (Where book artist talk shop online)

The Top 8 odd and outstanding artists’ books in Ryerson’s Special Collection

Altered Books at Pratt University

Water Yam | Artist book by George Brecht (Wikipedia entry)

Fluxus and how it relates to artists’ books

Blue Bananas

Image from Short Sharp Science: Bananas So Ripe, They’re Blue

As our semester long exploration of photography and colour comes to an end (waaaah) I want to share this web-based exploration of colour from National Public Radio.
LOOK AT THIS: This Is Color
Explore, enjoy and learn about blue bananas.


Photos from a comet. A COMET!

Image from the New York Times.

The European Space Agency did it! Philae has landed. On a comet! A comet!

People! A comet!

Read more here. (writing without excessive exclamation points)

The comet is very far away (duh) but this story has local connections. A University of Guelph Physics professor, Ralf Gellert, helped develop the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS), that will measure the comet’s elemental ingredients. You can read about Professor Gellert here and here.

And if you want to follow live feeds and videos and twitter updates, all that info is on the European Space Agency website.


Stacey Aspinall – Final Project Research: Light and Abstraction

Akihiko Miyoshi –


Bing Wright –

Newsprint Falling (19 Die)FLATBroken Mirror_Evening Sky

Uta Barthes –


Dan Flavin (not a “photographer,” but works with light) –


See also: Olafur Eliasson:

Dan Graham (Two Way Mirror series):

Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras (1966) – anyone who went on the trip to the Albright-Knox Museum earlier in the semester had a chance to see this in person, and it’s a really unique experience.

Live! Art + Photo III—gestural inspiration


QUANTUM – Teaser from Cie Gilles Jobin on Vimeo.

Gilles Jobin was the 2012 artist-in-residence at the CERN* physics laboratory in Switzerland. He created an abstract dance piece inspired by concepts in particle physics. A brief description from this New York Times article.
“…dancers will begin with a subtle jiggling motion that evokes the vibration of subatomic particles, which could be seen as a sort of quantum twerk. Under crackling ambient music assembled from supercollider data by the composer Carla Scaletti, they begin to orbit and swarm, pulled by invisible forces like gravity and magnetism. The spectacle will be lit, somewhat ominously, by lamps that swing on motorized pendulums — a “lumino-kinetic sculpture” contributed by the German artist Julius von Bismarck. “You don’t have to know anything about physics, it’s not a demonstration or explanation of scientific concepts,” Mr. Jobin said. “Now that I know that everything is moving, that we are mostly made of emptiness, that our bodies are holding together with incredible forces, it feels different to move my body.

Don’t know what CERN is? My heart just died a little.
CERN is the European Center for Nuclear Research a world-wide science effort, where scientists probe the fundamental structure of the universe and ask questions like: What is the universe made of? and How did the universe start?

Final Project: Research

Rineke Dijkstra's Beach Portaits

Rineke Dijkstra’s Beach Portraits

For my final project, I’ve been looking into conceptual portraiture as it is the direction I’m intending on moving towards and as it is the type of photography which interests me the most. Creating a powerful concept that viewers can relate to through portraits of others and possibly additional elements interacting with the subjects to support the concept is my main goal. To me, photographs with subjects that convey a strong message are the most powerful photographs. Therefore, I’ve been researching different technical ways of shooting portraits including natural settings as well as constructed sets with studio lighting, while also being inspired by all the various concepts that have been experimented with and exhibited and by all the stories that are told through conceptual portraits.

Through looking for inspiration, I have come across a couple links that inspired my final idea. The links explore photographers who used various subjects to create a series of portraits that gave off a particular conceptual message to their audience.

Phillip Toledano’s Hope & Fear was one of the projects that was most inspiring to me as he used Surrealism to create highly unusual and interesting photographs which expressed his message loudly and clearly. The way Toledano expressed the meaning of his project was by stating that the project was a “is the external manifestation of internal desires and paranoia that are adrift in contemporary American society. What are we afraid of? What do we love? How does our society function, and what does it worship?”

Further explanation of Toledano’s conceptual, technical and formal methodologies including an interview with Toledano himself.

Another inspiring project by Phillip Toledano.

An online book that I thought was an interesting read involving all things portraiture: Portraiture by Shearer West. (Might require UoGuelph library log-in)

What Makes A Great Portrait?

More conceptual portraits:
‘Humanae’ Portraits Match People of Different Ethnicities With Their Pantone Color

Fascinating Portraits of Young People Out Clubbing In Rural Spain

Photos of Rural Children Around the World Dressed Up As Their Dream Professions

Disconcerting Portraits of People Wearing Origami Animal Masks

Portraits of Kids From A Deprived Area in the UK

Besides conceptual factors, Chris Levine’s use of light and colour in his photographs as well as in his exhibition were technical factors that were equally as inspiring to me.

If you are interested in portraiture as well and have access to the University of Guelph Library there are also several compelling photography books that I have found to really inspire my thought process. These include “Face: The New Photographic Portrait” by William A. Weing, “At Work” by Anne Leibovitz, “Close Up” by Katharina Sieverding, “Portaits in Series” by Kerber, “Contemporaries: A Photographic Series” by Judith Joy Ross and “Studio Photography: Essential Skills” by John Child for technical matters – all of which could be found in the TR section on the 5th floor of the library.

Final Project Help | Resources

Research | The importance of looking.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good place to start.

Museum | Gallery websites
is a great list of photography-related museums
Saatchi Gallery
Tate Modern
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The British Museum
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Smithsonian Cooper-Hewittt National Design Museum
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Centre Pompidou (Paris)
Guggenheim (Bilbao)
Guggenheim (NY)
The J.Paul Getty Museum
MIT open courseware
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
Musee d’Art Contemporain (Montreal)
Wexner Center for the Arts
Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago)

National Gallery of Canada
Victoria and Albert Museum

International Center of Photography. Especially their BLOG and their searchable image database/archive.

Magazines | Online Journals
Aperture Magazine (Especially the weekly blog)
The F Stop (professional photographers discuss their craft)
Border Crossings
Frieze Magazine
Art Forum
Art Papers
Canadian Art
Feature Shoot
(interviews with contemporary photographers)
Conscientious Extended
St. Lucy

Monoskop: A wiki for art and culture

Ciel Variable : The Archives

Shooting Gallery

OTIS College on YouTube (excellent resources for artist interviews, lectures, etc)

Art 21

My Modern Met



Scholarly websites
TATE research
Smart History

Journal of Contemporary Art

Art Facts
Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture
Arts section of New York Times
Subject and Course guides from The U of G library

PHOTOGRAPHY at the Smithsonian Magazine

Keeping Track of your Research
Creating a Google Alert. Tips for getting the results you want

Texture • Breaking the photographic surface Photo-based installationConstructed environments

• Above image by Holly Roberts
• Drawings based on photographs, at the scale of 35mm negatives: Paul Chiappe
Robert Parke Harrison especially The Architect’s Brother

Above image by Sara Angelucci
• Thomas Demand | website | about a recent exhibit in Montreal
• Annette Messager | about | interview in Bomb | interview/review in The Guardian |
Aspen Mays
• Christian Boltanski | Marian Goodman gallery | MOMA | Park Avenue Armory (scroll for video)
Robin Rhodes | At White Cube | At Lehmann Maupin | On this blog
Tidying Up! (above images by Ursus Wehrli)
Ursus Wehrli | TED talk
Tony Cragg
Tony Cragg
Not sure what category this belong in, other than the GOOD! category
Ryan Park, Medium

Street Photographers

Helen Levitt
Stephen Shore
Robert Frank
Gary Winogrand
Lee Friedlander
Mary Ellen Mark
Bruce Davidson
Joel Meyerowitz
James Nachtwey
Black Star Agency
Magnum Photo Agency
And, I say this all the time, The New York Times Lens BlogThis is a good beginning, search this blog or any of the other zillion resources I’ve posted.